How To Avoid Getting Ripped Off By Mr Taxi Driver

How To Avoid Getting Ripped Off By Mr Taxi Driver

How To Avoid Getting Ripped Off By Mr Taxi Driver

Here are a bunch of facts I just made up, but might be accurate.

1. In many parts of the world no single entity rips off the traveller so often as the humble taxi driver.

2. It is near impossible to pick which drivers might rip you off by their appearance (that they look like a decent person, doesn’t mean they won’t try to rip you off).

Given this, how can you get away with paying a similar price as locals? Well, you can start by asking a local how much they pay (as may be obvious). But what about for the times when that isn’t possible – when you have just arrived in town or don’t speak the local language and  you have no clue as to what a  reasonable taxi fare would be

There are of course plenty of nice taxi drivers, but the article “how to deal with kind and courteous taxi drivers” was not going to work.

So here is some advice on how to get you less ripped off by Mr Taxi Driver.

(disclaimer: this post will be 0% useful for catching cabs in places where taxis have a developed meter system which is used 100% of the time).

1. Avoid taxis that hang out in front of transit terminals. Transit terminals, the great social hub of the taxi driver. These groups of drivers love to charge high prices, amongst the group few will be willing to negotiate on cheaper prices. Instead, walking one block away (preferably towards a major road) where hailing a passing cab will likely get you  a better deal.

2. If you are somewhere with a line of taxi’s, approach the first cabbie, tell them where you are going and how much it is. Then head to the second taxi and go with them instead.
3. Don’t pay the exorbitant price – either negotiate or refuse to pay such a high price. If they are still going to get a reasonable fee out of you they aren’t going to care or put up too much of a debate (in our experience).
4. Get an official taxi – I hesitate to give this advice as have been offered some competitive prices from unofficial taxis, but an official taxi is probably more likely to have a working meter and is less likely to try to rip you off (also it can’t hurt for safety reasons).
5. If the taxi tells you the meter is broken, catch a different cab.
6. Perhaps the least sexy advice, do some google research – approximately how far is the trip, is the place known for cheap or expensive taxi fares.

7. The jury is still out on whether or not you should ask up front about how much the trip is going to cost. On the one hand, many places that operate without meters still have set prices between locations and by asking how much it is going to be, you are telling the driver up front you have no clue what it should be and that they should raise their price.If you can pull it off – this might be a good approach. Difficult if you have just rocked up at the airport and you don’t know the local language.

The other theory suggests you should ask up front, at least you have some idea of the expected cost and perhaps more options/room for negotiation before they hit you with some high cost at the end.Personally we have been treated fairly and unfairly in both cases. I would err towards asking upfront though.

8. I didn’t give you this advice.. But you can try your luck at going with the most dodgy taxi you can find, the taxi that doesn’t look like it would make the journey (if this taxi driver charged a moderate to high rate they would probably be driving a better car like everyone else).  And who knows – if the car does break down or you have to get out and push – maybe you will get a discount! Unless you have concern for your safety, then don’t do this.

If all else fails, pray to the Taxi Gods.

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